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We’ll wrap up this edition of Fraud Week with a look at two Connecticut behavioral health providers, one bad and one very, very bad. First, Alicia Thompkins, a social worker from Hartford, pleaded guilty on April 27 to Medicaid fraud, but received only a three-year suspended jail sentence and an order to pay $140,000 in restitution. An investigation found that between 2018 and 2020, Thompkins submitted claims as though she provided counseling services that were actually provided by unlicensed people, or not provided at all.

Meanwhile, Ananthakumar Thillainathan, a physician from Stratford who owned MDCareNow, was sentenced on April 27 to four years in prison for Medicaid fraud and paying illegal kickbacks. Between 2019 and 2022, Thillainathan submitted $839,724 in Medicaid claims for psychotherapy services that weren’t provided. The claims were for 60-minute sessions, but the practice’s employees had very brief conversations with some patients, only left voicemail messages for others, and had no contact at all with some.

Thillainathan also paid a patient recruiting company about $100 per patient for initial visits to MDCareNow and about $40 per patient for each subsequent visit. Connecticut Medicaid reimbursed MDCareNow more than $1 million for services provided to 1,018 patients for whom kickbacks were paid. Thillainathan was ordered to pay $1,674,880 in restitution in total.

Thillainathan pleaded guilty to these charges last November and surrendered his Connecticut Controlled Substance Certificate of Registration. Nonetheless, he wrote at least 34 prescriptions for controlled substances, including 14 prescriptions for oxycodone, while unlicensed. His bond was revoked in January and he has been in jail since then. When he completes his prison term, Thillainathan faces possible deportation to Sri Lanka, whence he hails.

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